Angels eat too

In Book 5, I noticed a pattern of Milton distinguishing between but also aligning  the spiritual, non-material Angel Raphael and the corporeality of Adam and Eve. This comparing and contrasting seemed important because I thought it had something to do with what made Adam and Eve “mutable” and what made Raphael unchangeable. The difference is first discussed when Adam and Raphael are talking about food and it’s importance in Angel life. Adam regrets the “unsavory” food they have prepared, admitting that angels might not even need food as nourishment. Raphael politely rejects this notion, and says that the only difference between eating in Angels and humans is that for angels eating is done to get “intelligential substances.” So, on one hand the angels are materialist because they eat, but also more divine because they consume intellectual substances, whatever that means. Later on there is a couple of lines with a similar effect, one that at the beginning described Raphael as having “real hunger” but then says this hunger serves to “transibstinate,” or transform the food into something else.

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